Martin Keown rips into the Arsenal defence despite 3-2 win over Portuguese side Vitoria.
It’s hard for Arsenal not to be in the news for the wrong reasons nowadays. Even when they win a game as they did against Vitoria last night.
The Gunners came from two goals down to beat the stubborn visitors 3-2 at the Emirates. One of the highlights of the game was a brace of goals via freekicks from Nicolas Pepe.
While the Ivorian was trending for the right reason as he seems to finally be coming to grips with life at Arsenal, there were some criticisms for the team as well.
Arsenal was sloppy in defence allowing the visitors to strike twice and Keown was far from impressed.
The former defender put the positives aside and blasted the Arsenal defending in the game after former Tottenham youngster, Marcus Edwards got the better of Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney to fire his side into the lead.
Maitland-Niles was also responsible for the second goal as his heavy touch allowed Davison to fire the shot that Bruno Duarte would score the rebound for the second goal.
Maitland-Niles feeling sorry for himself.
“Well [Hector] Bellerin’s playing in his preferred position, [Calum] Chambers has taken his first-team berth in the Premier League,” Keown said.
“It looked like he was feeling sorry for himself and there’s no time for that as a professional footballer. Really poor touch and they’re away for the second goal. It’s a wonderful finish but Maitland-Niles is all at sea.
“He should receive that ball on his back foot, he turns into trouble, and that’s laziness, sloppiness. The player has got great ability but he’s wasting his talent at the moment.”
“You need to be right mentally,” he added. “You’re the second-string XI, you’re watching the first-team play, when you play you can make your mark. I didn’t see the hunger.
“[For the first goal] I thought Holding could have gone across, Tierney’s the wrong side, no one getting back in midfield. Far too easy and that will worry the manager.
“It’s not complacency, it’s a lack of hunger. You’re there to make your mark at a football club, you want to make it difficult for the manager when he comes to select the team for the weekend and nobody at the moment is doing enough.”
Keown is not far wrong and the win last night only masks the ongoing problems at the back.